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Suhakam to hold public inquiry into arrest of lawyers

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 July 2009: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will hold a public inquiry next month into the detention and arrest of five lawyers of the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Bureau.

The three-day inquiry starting 14 Aug will be conducted by three commissioners — Datuk Dr Michael Yeoh Onn Kheng and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria — at the Suhakam investigation room on the 29th floor of Menara Tun Razak here.

A Suhakam statement said the hearing from 9:30am to 5:30am daily will be open to the public and the media, but no audio-visual recording will be allowed.

The hearing is to determine, among others, whether the detention and arrest of the five lawyers at the Brickfields police headquarters on 7 May were a denial of legal representation and a breach of Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and Section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and therefore tantamount to a violation of human rights.

The inquiry is also to determine whether there was any justification or need to detain and arrest the lawyers under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967.

Suhakam says if there has been a violation of human rights, the public inquiry has a duty to identify the individuals or agency responsible and how the violation came about.

The inquiry is also to determine the instructions and administrative regulations that caused the violation, and the recommended steps to ensure its non-recurrence. — Bernama

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